– The Emir of Ilorin has donated a parcel of land to herdsmen who had refused to quit their settlement at the University of Ilorin
– The herdsmen had previously been told to leave the institution’s campus but had refused, saying they were there before UNILORIN was established
– The university’s VC said the management’s prayer was that the herdsmen would not return, once they have been given the land
Alhaji Ibrahim Gambari, the Emir of Ilorin, has intervened in the fracas between the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) and herdsmen who vowed not to relocate from the institution’s land, by donating a parcel of land to the cattle breeders.
The development was made public by the institution’s vice chancellor, Professor Sulyman AbdulKareem, in a chat with newsmen during the annual Iftar interaction which took place on Wednesday, June 13, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that at a meeting with the herdsmen in February, AbdulKareem had said UNILORIN would no longer condone the destructive activities of their grazing cattle on its land, “as this is becoming too costly for the institution to bear;” and that “enough is enough”.
The state government was however asked by the chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Kwara, Alhaji Usman Adamu, to prevail on the school’s authorities not to evict the herdsmen from their settlement on the property.
Adamu said that it would be impossible for the herdsmen to relocate, as they had settled on the grounds before the university was established.
On Wednesday, AbdulKareem however disclosed that the Emir intervened to save the day, by providing a parcel of land at a village, Opolo, in Ilorin-South local government area for the herdsmen as settlement, in order to douse the brewing tension between the two camps.
He stated: “At that first meeting, I agreed to do the bidding agreed upon by my predecessors. The lucky thing is that after media reports, I got invited to the Emir’s palace.
“I went there and I told the emir exactly what happened. I must thank him for the way he took everything.
“He said he thought we were taking care of everything on our own and not leaving anything for them to input.
“When we told him what we did, he said he had agreed to give a parcel of land in Opolo village to these herdsmen, and he will arrange what will be given to them.
“The last few times that we met the herdsmen, we thought they will live together, but they said that one group, out of the two, will have to migrate somewhere else, but the one that will stay will take the land offered by the Emir.
“We pray, again, that they will not bring their cattle to the university land once they are located very close to the university: that is where we stand.”
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem decried the destruction of UNILORIN’s multi-million naira research and training farms by alleged herdsmen, who also reportedly poisoned the dam with chemicals.
The university’s weekly bulletin had disclosed that the management of the institution held a security meeting with the leaders of the 11 Fulani settlements on the university land.
The publication quoted the vice-chancellor as saying that economic trees were destroyed by cattle grazing on the vast land of the institution.
Time to take up arms against herdsmen attacks? – on NAIJ.com TV: